How an In-Home Nanny Can Keep Kids Busy During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for parents and nannies alike. With kids spending all their time at home, it is easy for them to start to get bored quickly, even with things they normally enjoying doing.
There is a limit to how long streaming shows will keep them entertained. Eventually, they will become bored, as they will have seen their shows numerous times. Plus, it isn’t a good idea to let kids watch endless streaming content, as soon they will not want to do anything else.
So, how can you, as an in-home nanny, keep the kids in your care busy? There are plenty of things you can do with your kids to prevent them from going stir-crazy and getting bored.
Step 1: Use Their Interests to Help Come Up with Activities for Kids at Home
The first thing you will want to do is make a list of activities to do with kids at home. You should use their interests to help you create your list. For instance, if one of the kids in your care likes science, think up some great and easy age-appropriate science experiments.
Make sure to create a list of activities for kids at home for each of the children in your care. If they like similar things, it is okay if their lists have identical activities.
Step 2: Develop a Daily Schedule
The kids in your care most likely still have scheduled school hours when they must work on school assignments and check in with teachers and virtual classrooms via video conferencing. Make sure to include school time in your daily schedule.
Outside of school hours, you can list different activities to do with each child. It is acceptable to overlap activities, so you can get one started on their activity and then help the other one with theirs.
To get your kids excited about what they will be doing, hang up their daily schedule where they can see it—like on the refrigerator or their bedroom door.
Step 3: Vary Activities Daily and Weekly
Boredom can start to creep in when you do the same activities day after day or week after week. Remember to vary it up and change things around so your kids will have new things to look forward to and not get bored.
If there are particular activities they enjoy doing, you could put those on their schedule once a week while adding new things.
Now that you know what steps to follow to decide what activities to do with kids at home, let’s look at some great ideas you can include on your lists for the kids in your care.
1. Cooking Lessons
If the child has expressed an interest in cooking, this is a great time to teach them how to cook. You can start with simple recipes that are age-appropriate. For instance, younger kids can have fun making bread since it is a lot of “hands-on.”
For tweens and teens, teach them how to make their favorite meals. For instance, if they like spaghetti with meatballs, you could teach them how to make meatballs and pasta from scratch.
2. Baking Sweet Treats
Baking is another fun activity many kids enjoy. They like measuring out the ingredients and mixing them together. From cookies to cupcakes, there is a wide variety of baked goods you can teach them how to make.
Another fun thing to do is let them decorate their cookies and cupcakes using frosting, sprinkles, and other such things.
3. Science Experiments
Science experiments are the perfect activity for inquisitive kids who want to know how stuff works. From mixing baking soda with vinegar to building a working volcano, there are tons of easy science experiments you can do with your kids.
4. Make Slime
Making slime requires three ingredients: white school glue, baking soda, and saline contact solution. You mix eight ounces of school glue with one tablespoon baking soda. Next, mix in one and a half tablespoons of contact solution. If the slime feels too sticky, add another half tablespoon of contact solution. To color the slime, add a few drops of food coloring.
5. Make Playdough
There are all sorts of playdough recipes online. One of the easiest ones especially for little kids, that doesn’t require cooking, requires warm water, table salt, flour, food coloring, and canola oil. You can substitute vegetable oil or olive oil too.
In a bowl, add four tablespoons of flour and mix in two tablespoons of table salt. In a separate bowl, add one-quarter cup warm water, four to five drops of food coloring, and one tablespoon of oil. Now, slowly add the flour/salt mixture to the wet ingredients and stir together.
Next, sprinkle a little bit of flour onto the counter and take the playdough and knead it until it is nice and smooth. You can store the playdough in a plastic bowl with a lid or a zipping plastic bag in the refrigerator so it does not dry out.
6. Make a Time Capsule
Take a shoebox or another small box and fill it with different things. Close the box up and tape it shut. Now, put the box in a closet or another place and leave it there for a year or longer. You can also put the box inside a heavy-duty plastic bag and bury it in the backyard and dig it up sometime in the future.
7. Treasure Hunt
If your kids like pirates and hunting for treasure, you could make a treasure map and hide treasure around the house or in the backyard. Treasures could include small toys, plastic coins, or other fun things the kids will enjoy finding.
8. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is a great way to keep kids engaged and busy. You make out a list of different items or things they must do around the house. For example, you could have them take selfies in different rooms of the home if they have a tablet or smartphone. To keep it interesting, make out different scavenger lists for each of the kids that are age-appropriate.
9. Pool Games
If you are fortunate to have access to a swimming pool, you can come up with all sorts of fun pool games for the kids to enjoy. For example, you could have the kids get into innertubes and race to one end of the pool to get a flag and race back to the other side.
10. Play Board Games
If it is rainy outside, a great indoor activity to do with kids at home is to play different board games. From Candyland® to Monopoly® for older kids, there is a wide array of games to choose from for a wide range of ages.
11. Make Up Stories
For kids with active imaginations, making up stories is a fun way to keep from getting bored. You could start the story, and then ask one of your kids what happens next. Let them tell the story for a few minutes, then go on to the next child and they can pick up where the story left off.
12. Create a Comic
If any of your kids are into superheroes or comic books, you could help them make their own comic. Take a normal sheet of paper and divide it into different panels. Have the child draw a picture in each panel and color it. Then add text bubbles. Repeat for the other pages until the comic is complete, and then assemble it into a mini-book.
13. Play Dress-Up
Kids of all ages like to play dress-up. You could even get out Halloween costumes for the kids to dress up in.
14. Build a Fort
Cardboard boxes, bedsheets, and pillows are great things to use to build a fort. You could even let your kids “camp” in the fort overnight.
15. Have a Movie Night
A movie night is where you make popcorn and other treats and sit down with your kids to watch a movie no one has seen. Turn down the lights to give a theater effect and turn on the surround sound system.
16. Have a Virtual Dance Party
If your kids are missing their friends, host a virtual dance party. Your kids could make a dance floor and decorate. When their friends join the video conference, play some dance music and watch everyone have a great time.
17. Build a Cardboard Race Car or Boat
Cardboard boxes are also great for building race cars, boats, and other fun things you kids can decorate with markers and crayons.
There are all sorts of fun things and activities for kids at home to keep them busy and not bored. We hope our ideas inspire you to come up with even more great things to do!